Fishy tales aside, Ireland should be more like Iceland
Now, we may be having an unbelievably brutal summer but that mightn't stop you from lighting the barbecue and indulging in some outdoor cooking -- provided you have your umbrella, of course. And if you're fond of throwing some fresh mackerel on the coals you might want to savour its oily taste before it disappears because mackerel is being massively over-fished by Iceland and the Faroe Islands.
Both are ignoring agreements with the EU on the amount of mackerel they should catch. Since 2008 they have contravened agreed quotas and significantly increased their catches. Scientists and environmentalists warn that such over-fishing will endanger the long-term survival of the fish.
These mackerel wars recently prompted the European Parliament's Fisheries Committee to vote for trade sanctions against both states. That's catapulted Iceland into a kind of diplomatic no-man's land as it wants to join the European Union. But recent events have shown that Iceland can take a very different path when it comes to conforming to international norms.